Sun, Jun 04, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Vice president talks of need for common destiny at opening of DPU convention

SOFT POWER Annette Lu addressed delegates by teleconference, telling them that democracy and peace were the key ingredients for prosperity

CNA , TAIPEI

Vice President Annette Lu addresses the opening of the 2006 West Pacific Regional Convention of the Democratic Pacific Union (DPU) held in Seoul via teleconference yesterday.

PHOTO: CNA

The whole world, as a community which shares a common destiny, needs to promote and practice the concept of "soft power" because no-one will benefit from a zero-sum, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday.

Lu made the remarks via teleconference, while she was addressing the opening of the 2006 West Pacific Regional Convention of the Democratic Pacific Union (DPU) held in Seoul.

Lu pointed out that over the past century, the western Pacific region has experienced colonialism, ethnic confrontation and bloodshed originating from the endless pursuit of wealth and military power.

The formation of a global community sharing a common destiny has highlighted the importance of the values of democracy, peace and prosperity advocated by the DPU, Lu said, noting that of the five remaining countries practising communism in the world, four are in Asia.

Lu said she was convinced that the world will only enjoy stability and perpetual peace by sharing the values of democracy and that only through democracy and peace will prosperity be sustained.

Lu said that without democracy, the pursuit of economic prosperity would only expand the income gap between rich and poor and that without peace, the pursuit of economic prosperity will only lead to arms races that sow the seeds of destructive military conflicts.

She said the DPU was different from the APEC forum and the ASEAN in that the DPU believes that democracy and peace should be given priority over the pursuit of economic prosperity.

She noted that the DPU had already set up a Pacific disaster prevention center after its establishment last year and will soon form a Pacific parliamentary front and a Pacific university alliance.

The DPU is scheduled to hold a conference on bird flu control and prevention in Indonesia in July and will hold another conference on parliamentary reforms in Taipei in August, Lu said.

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